Hypoxia of the renal medulla is a possible precursor to the onset of acute renal failure in humans and therefore an understanding of the factors influencing the oxygenation status within the renal medulla is very important. Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown to non-invasively evaluate intra-renal oxygenation levels of the renal medulla in humans. A newly implemented three-dimensional (3-D) multiple gradient-recalled echo sequence, which permits examination of temporal responses to physiological or pharmacological stimuli, was used to monitor changes in intra-renal oxygenation status during water diuresis. Five healthy, young subjects (22+/-1.2 years) took part in the study. BOLD MRI data were acquired before and after water loading. Studies were repeated on a separate day after the subjects were pretreated with naproxen. Water diuresis significantly improved renal medullary oxygenation levels in all subjects (pre-waterload=30.3 1/s vs post-waterload 22.8 1/s); however, the temporal response was found to be subject dependent. In the presence of cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition by naproxen, the improvement in oxygenation during water diuresis was completely abolished (pre-waterload=27.5 1/s vs post-waterload 28.5 1/s). Monitoring of temporal responses for the first time during water loading allowed for an appreciation of subject dependence. Comparison of the temporal response in terms of slopes demonstrated a significant difference between the waterload studies with and without naproxen (with naproxen=0.056 1/(s min) vs without naproxen=0.25 1/(s min)). The observed effects of naproxen were consistent with previous findings with COX inhibition.